Stevens, Grandfather of Gavin

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Stevens, Grandfather of Gavin
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Stevens, Grandfather of Gavin
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The Stevenses are one of the older Yoknapatawpha families, but there is confusion about its earlier members. The first appearance of a Stevens is in "A Rose for Emily"; he is the eighty-year-old mayor of Jefferson referred to as "Judge Stevens" (122). According to Brooks, Dasher and Kirk, three of the scholars who create charts or indices of Faulkner's characters, this man is the same Judge Stevens who is Gavin's father in half a dozen other fictions. Given this man's age, however, it seems more likely that (as the scholar Edmond Volpe has it) he is the grandfather of Gavin mentioned in Light in August who "owned slaves" before the Civil War and who "publicly congratulated" Colonel Sartoris for killing the Bundrens during Reconstruction (444), and on that basis we create this separate entry for him in our index. His only other mention in the canon occurs in "Knight's Gambit," where Charles Mallison (Gavin's nephew) thinks about the books on the shelves in the home the family still lives in as the ones "his grandfather had . . . heired in his turn from his father" (149).